One of Mississippi’s largest USDA Rural Development awards was recently celebrated in Lowndes County, where local leaders expect the improvements made by this award to lead to hundreds of jobs.
USDA Rural Development State Director Trina George was joined by U.S. Senator Roger Wicker and numerous state and local officials to commemorate a USDA Rural Development loan of $13 million to the Columbus-Lowndes County Development Link, which will help the entity expand the regional industrial park with a special focus on attracting aerospace industries. This award compliments a previous USDA Rural Development loan-grant combination of $17.5 million awarded last year to expand and improve the water and sewer infrastructure of the industrial park.
“I know that you are marketing your industrial park toward the aerospace industry,” George remarked to the gathering. “The Global Industrial Aerospace Park will be appealing to the many companies, both domestic and foreign, that work in this industry. This will be a growing and important source of jobs for Mississippi in the future.”
George noted that these projects, in an area known as “the Golden Triangle” will have a positive impact on five counties. “This award is a cornerstone for attracting hundreds of good jobs to this area, including the prospect of overseas companies locating here. This region and this county will see the benefits for years to come.”
George cited the back-to-back grants and loans for the region as an illustration of the commitment of the Obama Administration to rural America. She noted that the partnership between the private sector and government is a strong tool to help grow private sector jobs and to help the region compete internationally.
“On behalf of President Obama and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, let me say how nice it is for USDA Rural Development to be a part of this success,” said George.
After complimenting the leadership of the Golden Triangle, Senator Wicker complimented USDA Rural Development.
“The good work that you do in the rural areas of our state is well-known. Countless individuals and communities have been uplifted by your programs and the resources that your agency provides. Two key elements to any success are good leadership and a talented work force, and your agency is blessed with both of these in abundance. Thank you for the good work that you do and the great things that you bring to rural Mississippi.” Senator Wicker called the Lowndes County initiative “a major project” and said the work “will lay the groundwork for hundreds of jobs” in that area.
Mabel Murphree, district director for U.S. Congressman Alan Nunnelee, also spoke at the event, which was attended by hundreds of high school and college students. Several speakers noted that the young people could benefit when the project brings jobs to rural Mississippi.